A Mnemonic device is a memory aid that provides a method for organizing information to make it more easily remembered. Much of what we learn in school is simple memorization. There have been many studies done that suggest using mnemonics actually improves the ability to apply the information remembered. The human brain likes patterns. When we learn something new, our brain tries to find an association between the new information and the stuff we already know. There are many different types of mnemonics; acrostic sentences, acronyms, rhymes, phrases, keyword mnemonics, loci mnemonics, and narrative chaining.
In my classroom mnemonics are used daily to assist our students with remembering. One example: DCAP-BTLS is used when looking for injuries on trauma patients. It stands for Deformities, Contusions, Abrasions, Punctures, Penetrations, Burns, Tenderness, Lacerations and Swelling.
I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t used Mnemonics at one time or another whether for yourselves or in your classrooms. As rare as it may be I have heard some people say you should learn the concept and not just memorize letters. Does anyone have any personal experiences or funny stories with mnemonics that they would like to share?